Habagat Relief Operations

The second half of the year heralds the wet season.  We are no strangers to typhoons and torrential rain showers, but last August was quite different.  No storm signal was raised, only the ever present southwest monsoon or “hanging habagat.”  But the amount of precipitation was such that it was comparable to typhoon Ondoy in October 2009.

It rained incessantly for several days.  Water levels rose, the floods came as they always do during this season.  It came to a point where homes had to be abandoned, families had to seek elsewhere for shelter and livelihood had to be left behind.

Evacuation centers were filled to the rafter with hundreds and later on thousands of affected families.  Food was fast becoming scarce.  Everyone had to step up to bring aid and basic needs to these people.  Philseven Foundation Inc., (PFI) together with PhilSeven Corporation (PSC) repack relief goods to bring aid to this people in need. PFI also teamed up with DSWD National Resource Operation Center by providing meals thrice a day for their volunteers mostly from Phil. Air Force, PNP, students, religious and civilians who also helped pack relief goods.

A total of 4,792 relief packs were distributed to different cities in Metro Manila.  A good portion of the said relief was sent to the City of Manila. Manila was among the hardest hit by the flooding. 3,200 relief packs were distributed in Sta. Mesa and Baseco, Tondo by Manila City Mayor Alfredo Lim together with his officials and volunteers from 7-11 employees this happened last August 16 and 17.  600 relief packs went to Caloocan City, 500 relief to San Mateo, Rizal. And 492 relief packs were distributed to 7-11 employees who were affected by said natural calamity.

Our efforts may not seem much compared to the devastation caused by the nameless deluge. But let us always remember that a little help goes a long way.  We must not shy upon extending whatever help we can give especially to those most in need.  There will never be a shortage of people who need help.  Let us emulate the example of those volunteers who toiled night and day notwithstanding fatigue and bad weather all for the sake of helping others. And we have a perfect word for it: “malasakit.”